Agnes de Mille flying high as The Cowgirl in her "Rodeo." Photo by Semo, Courtesy DM Archives.
60 Years Ago This Month
In the April 1957 issue of Dance Magazine, we reported on that year's Dance Magazine Awards, one of which went to Agnes de Mille. The dancer-choreographer first leapt to prominence after choreographing—and starring in—her now-iconic Rodeo for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1942. Lauded for its realism, the "cowboy ballet" was such a success that Rodgers and Hammerstein invited de Mille to choreograph the original Broadway production of Oklahoma! Accepting her award, she said, "I think the function of saying to somebody: 'You don't have to take leave of the human race in order to be interested in dancing. It's a normal expression for people' is a worthy one. I am glad to have had some part in doing that."
The cast of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise in rehearsal. Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy The Shed
Akram Khan loves to dive into genres he is unfamiliar with. While his own movement vocabulary is a hybrid of kathak and contemporary dance, he has choreographed a new Giselle for English National Ballet, collaborated with flamenco artist Israel Galván and made a dance theater duet with film star Juliette Binoche. Now, in between touring Xenos, his final full-length solo, and several other projects, he's found time to tackle kung fu. Khan is part of the collaborative team behind Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a blockbuster musical based on themes of migration and the fight for survival, running June 22–July 27. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and featuring a score that remixes songs by Sia, it's part of the inaugural season of The Shed, a new venue in New York City.